RNC raises $5.2M but remains $21M in debt

The Republican National Committee (RNC) remains $21 million in debt, even though it raised $5.2 million in February, according to fundraising numbers released Saturday.

The committee paid down $1 million on its debt out of $5.3 million total spent in February, according to an RNC official. Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced in late January that the party went into the new year $23 million in debt, which accumulated under former chairman Michael Steele. The RNC currently has $2.1 million cash on hand.

Saturday's news — which was first reported by The Washington Post — shows that the RNC has much ground to make up in terms of fundraising heading into the 2012 election cycle. 

According to the Post's report, the RNC's new leadership discovered almost $1 million in new debt since the new year, meaning the committee must dig out of a larger-than-expected hole.

The RNC pointed to two signs that Priebus is beginning to get the committee on the right track: the party has doubled its major donor goal so far and has cut 35 percent in overhead spending.

The Post reported that the Democratic National Committee raised $7.1 million in February and stands $17.9 million in debt. The DNC spent $5.7 million last month and has $10.5 million cash on hand.